Layout suggestions?!?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by guppyman, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. guppyman

    guppyman Member

    OK.... This is N scale...

    I am about to start construction of my new layout after the first of the year. I have 2 walls in a 12' x 12' room to use, and I can probably come out up to about 3 feet.

    What I am thinking right now is having one wall be double-decked (20" seperation), with the other being a mountain 'Nolix' area connecting the 2 decks. I need to make it continuous running, with lots of operational opportunities.

    I'm not entirely sure on what industries will be online yet. Possibly one of the decks may host intermodal ops... Possibly a coal mine in the mountains. Other ideas???

    I will be getting DCC to operate this I've decided. I'll learn reverse loop wiring and auto-detection and what-not as necessary.

    My big problem right now is other than a few sketches of this area.... I'm clueless on getting a trackplan nailed down.

    Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hello guppyman, Are the two walls at a right angle? Are there windows, doors or other obstructions? Is your main interest coal operations? What about yard operations? Staging? Do you wish to avoid a helix altogether?

    Regardless of these details, given the shape you descibe, my first thought is a pair of turnback curves at one end of one of the walls, one stacked above the other. (One on each level, connected by a double track mainline) Preferably, these would be concealed, with or without trackage above them, on their respective levels. With careful planning, these loops will be long enough to stage a couple trains by mutli tracking them. For instance, on the upper level, coal mines and associated trackage and facilities could be a few inches above the return loop trackage. The lower level could be tidewater, with its return loop a few inches below. The nolix area between can house a few industries and still be primarily a scenic area. This will allow continuous running via the return loops with staging while working the mine and/or dock areas.

    The beauty of DCC will be the fact that you can install crossovers on your double track main without worrying about polarity problems (what I am calling double track in fact is single track running next to each other, they form a circle when the turnback loops are included) By making the two loops reverse blocks using reverse modules by any of the manufacturers (I like the ones by Tony's train exchange) the two mains are wired with the same polarity and you never need concern yourself with polarity problems so long as you don't use analog locos.

  3. guppyman

    guppyman Member

    Are the two walls at a right angle? Yes

    Are there windows, doors or other obstructions? There are windows on both walls, but they will probably be covered over for this.

    Is your main interest coal operations? Not necessarily. I was thinking about an industry that would fit in the mountains.

    What about yard operations? Staging? At least one of the decks will have a yard... I haven't really gotten to thinking about staging yet.

    Do you wish to avoid a helix altogether?
    I do want to avoid the traditional Helix. If I can run the trains through some good scenery without losing them for a long time.... so much the better.

    What I'm kinda thinking about is possibly a container port on the bottom, with a small yard. Then having the run up through the mountains to the upper deck, and having the upper very rural.... farms, small town? Grain Elevator? Not sure at all on industries just yet.

    I can see the scenery in my head already though... That's more where my mind functions... I can see the river cut through the mountain.... the trestles crossing over... I can see the tunnel portals... I can see the rolling farmland.... I can see the stacks of containers. It's when I try to figure out where to put the track to make it workable.... I get lost.
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Instead of a helix, how about a loop like the Tecahapi or Rogers Pass. That would look kewl.

    Other industries for the rural section: brewery, flour mill, refinery, lumber yard, fertilizer production facility, stockyard (depending on era of course).

    The only other mountain industry I can think of is logging; or perhaps a dam is being built nearby so they need a *LOT* of cement shipments.
  5. Railery

    Railery Member

    Here is a kewl mountain industry ; a sulphur plant. There are two i know of in Alberta, the plant down by Waterton and the plant just before Banff. Coal is still a good one to model, or a ski resort, like Lake Louise. Yep lumber another industry. You could do a silver or gold mine. There are some gas plants around the mountains. Well thats all i can think of. :)
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Guppyman, I've taken a shot at a plan. I've seen the nolix idea executed well, so I'm inclined to believe it can be done better than I've shown. Be that as it may, with a 2% grade I think the best that can be done in terms of rise in inches is about 9". You could increase the grade or try to squeeze in another lap, or both. Perhaps others can be of more help here.
    The other leg of the layout, in this case the bottom where you indicated you may want a port scene, is not meant to be an exact plan but rather a starting point for you to consider. With the mains running down the rear and one passing siding with a switch lead extending as far as a tunnel portal which would actually be out of sight, you would be able to make and break trains on that siding without interfering with the main. The rest is obvious, a runaround track is included.
    Good luck, let us know how you solve the problem of rising 20"


    Attached Files:

  7. guppyman

    guppyman Member

    Hey guys.... Thanks for the suggestions and the plan! I swear, people in this hobby are great.

    Here's a thought I was having on the rise.... I haven't totally worked it out just yet, but....

    Mountains on either end of the 12' run on one wall.... Do a one loop helix type run (hidden).. run the entire length to the other end, with another single hidden loop on the other end...

    Do a few of these and I still get to see the train a lot more often than if I just build a helix somewhere.

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